The draft is 9 days, 5 hours, 50 minutes, and 31 seconds away (as of the time I submitted this FanPost at least), and I just got done sorting through reports, videos, and rumors coming out from the recent workouts. With all that new information (and misinformation, which I tried to weed out using intuition) I put together my latest mock draft.
There was a lot of movement up and down in this mock, however my big board - when I get around to updating it at least - will be relatively unchanged besides removing the international players who have pulled out of the draft from its rankings. Below the jump, you can see how things appear to be shaping up...
1. Washington - John Wall (PG):
The Arenas era is over; the John Wall era has now begun. This pick is a lock now per reports.
2. Philadelphia - Evan Turner (SG/SF):
This pick could be moved so Philadelphia picks up more value as Turner and Iguodala duplicate each other’s strengths and weaknesses a little too much. I believe they would be almost equally as happy with Favors or Cousins, but right now Turner is the safer bet.
3. New Jersey - Derrick Favors (PF/C):
Lopez isn’t really a brutish player down low, but he’s a very skilled offensive player who can also step out and hit a jumper. Favors is a tough-nosed player and he has the athleticism Lopez lacks. This is a spectacular fit, though the pick is rumored to be "gettable".
4. Minnesota - DeMarcus Cousins (C):
This represents a BPA pick as DeMarcus has the potential to be dominant. It is also a pick which will drastically change the franchise as Al and Cousins likely cannot coexist, but Cousins is the larger and more talented of the two.
5. Sacramento - Wesley Johnson (SF):
This is a tough pick for the Kings, and don’t be surprised to see them move up or down. They need talent which fits next to Evans, but they would highly prefer it to be a big with defensive ability. However, as the value isn’t there, they instead go for BPA and take Johnson - even though they already have Casspi and Greene.
6. Golden State - Greg Monroe (PF/C):
The Warriors really don’t have a specific need besides being healthy and reorganizing their talent. Seeing as they already have athletes in the frontcourt, Monroe’s athletic and defensive deficiencies could be covered up and his skills could be maximized.
7. Detroit - Ed Davis (PF):
Detroit needs help just about everywhere, and as such they cannot afford passing up the potential Davis has on both ends of the floor. He’ll fill a huge hole in the Pistons rotation next year, possibly starting by year’s end.
8. LA Clippers - Paul George (SF):
The Clippers have a need at SF, but they also could use some playmaking since Gordon lacks in that area. Aminu could get a look here since he has the ability to play PF next to Griffin when they go small, but George offers a diverse skillset and his stock has skyrocketed.
9. Utah (from NY) - Cole Aldrich (C):
Gift wrapping Utah an NBA-ready defensive Center would be like an early Christmas, even if he isn’t the BPA. He doesn’t offer much upside, but it beats relying on Fesenko or Koufos to develop, while also being a decent fit with Millsap.
10. Indiana - Xavier Henry (SG/SF):
If the Pacers trade down or out of this spot as rumored, then Henry is the pick as he’s BPA and the team targeting this pick in a trade would likely be looking to draft him. However, if they keep the pick, this is a tough spot and Aminu, Udoh, or Hayward are all possibilities.
11. New Orleans - Gordon Hayward (SF):
It is rumored that Hayward has a promise somewhere above the 12th pick. This would be a reasonable spot for him if that’s the case, even though Aminu is still on the board and represents the BPA. If he can rid himself of the streakiness which plagued him this past year, this could be a very nice fit.
12. Memphis - Al-Farouq Aminu (SF/PF):
If they allow Gay to walk, then Aminu would look like an excellent fit - and even if they do not, Mayo, Gay, and Aminu could all play on the floor together and create huge mismatch problems with their athleticism and scoring ability.
13. Toronto - Patrick Patterson (PF):
Losing Bosh is certainly going to sting, but Toronto can’t panic. Patterson - while not a quite as good defensively like the BPA Udoh - could immediately come in and be a nice fit next to Bargnani as he has a reliable post game, while also being an extremely safe choice.
14. Houston - Hassan Whiteside (PF/C):
Upside pick that Houston can afford to take, even with the red flags surrounding him. While this pick has a high possibility of being moved, a pick of Whiteside would allow him time to mature and also make him earn his minutes - possibly giving him more motivation to reach his potential.
15. Milwaukee (from CHI) - Luke Babbitt (SF/PF):
Babbitt measured out better than almost everyone expected, and it’s rumored the Bucks like him a lot. The Bucks should give Anderson a heavy look here, but the Bucks will take one of the most skilled offensive players on the board.
16. Minnesota (from CHA) - Ekpe Udoh (PF/C):
The Timberwolves really need help on the wing, and Anderson is staring them in the face. However, Udoh is BPA and he is potentially a perfect fit alongside Cousins and would work very well in an uptempo triangle variation. I think they take him and reshape their frontcourt.
17. Chicago (from MIL) - James Anderson (SG):
Rose is a dominant ball-handler with a budding jumper, and the SG next to him needs to be able to play off the ball and be great working primarily in catch-and-shoot and screen situations. Anderson brings that as well as decent playmaking and defense to the table. Great fit.
18. Miami - Avery Bradley (PG/SG):
Bradley isn’t currently ready to play PG in a traditional role, but the Heat don’t need that if they keep Wade. He can immediately step in and give them excellent defense as well as solid shooting in his limited minutes, while learning to become more of a playmaker.
19. Boston - Willie Warren (SG):
Warren has certainly fallen out of favor with the masses over the past year, but I still think he has the upside to be pretty good in the NBA. Working off more talented players, he could be a deadly sharpshooter with handles. In Boston he could replace some of Allen’s production, and give them another handler when Rondo is off the floor.
20. San Antonio - Damion James (SF):
They need toughness, length, and spot-up shooting at the SF spot since Jefferson clearly didn’t give them that. James brings those as well as quality defense, and seems like a Popovich kind of player.
21. Oklahoma City - Daniel Orton (PF/C):
I personally would dislike this pick if I were an OKC fan; however this is a mock, not my big board. Some team will reach for him early because of his size, athleticism, and thug-like nature on the court; and I think that team will be the Thunder as he is a hometown player who also fills a big need.
22. Portland - Kevin Seraphin (PF/C):
They were decimated by injuries last year, and could have Oden and Przybilla start off the year watching games in suits. Seraphin is an upside pick, but also should be able to contribute a crude, but punishing game on offense his first year; while also giving them plus production defensively and on the boards.
23. Minnesota (from UTA) - Devin Ebanks (SF/PF):
Minnesota likely moves up in the draft using this pick, but if not, I like Ebanks here. As BPA (in my opinion at least) he does not given them an immediate boost offensively at the wing like they need, but he’ll provide lockdown defense, quality rebounding, playmaking, and also possesses a nice mid-range game. They can get the offense in Free Agency.
24. Atlanta - Larry Sanders (PF/C):
The Hawks need size and defense. Sanders brings great defensive ability as well as an excellent frame, but doesn’t have the bulk they’d be looking for. However, seeing that he’s put on about 15lbs of "good" weight in the past two seasons (he only has 4.6% body fat); I think he could eventually bulk up to 240-250 and be a menace for Atlanta.
25. Memphis (from DEN) - Eric Bledsoe (PG/SG):
Conley doesn’t seem to be a guy worth considering part of their core, even though he’s a decent player. As such, they go with Bledsoe who - even if Conley is kept longterm - can play a role as a comboguard off the bench that will give them a great defender and decent shooting.
26. Oklahoma City (from PHX) - Tibor Pleiss (C):
I don’t know if they keep both picks, but I’ll pick as though they will. They already took Orton, but it’s rumored that they also like Pleiss and they could stash him for a year or two. Their roster cannot handle any more non-impact players, so taking an international prospect makes sense.
27. New Jersey (from DAL) - Quincy Pondexter (SF):
The Nets should use this pick to guess at the type of role player a star FA would want to surround him. You can never have enough role players who are very athletic and have the ability to guard three positions, while also able to create for themselves - so Pondexter is the pick here.
28. Memphis (from LAL) - Elliot Williams (SG):
I cannot see Memphis taking three rookies this year, so I would assume they will trade up or out of one of their later picks. However, if they do keep all three, I think they’ll go with Elliot Williams who grew up in Tennessee, played at Memphis, and is a pretty good athlete that can be a scorer/slasher off the bench.
29. Orlando - Darington Hobson (SG/SF):
Hobson is rumored to have a 1st round promise. As someone who is adept at handling the ball, shooting it from deep, and also possesses decent athleticism - it makes sense. While he doesn’t have the star potential on the wing which they seemed to need in the playoffs, he can fill a void off the bench and then eventually earn a starting spot and allow Nelson to work off him at times.
30. Washington (from CLE) -Solomon Alabi (C):
Could he slip all the way to the last pick in the 1st round? It’s possible, especially when a lot of teams don’t necessarily need a C at the end of the 1st in this mock. He gives the Wizards a legit C with good defense and budding skills, as well as a high character guy. I don’t know if he’ll ever be a big-minute player, but this is good value.
31. New Jersey - Artsiom Parakhouski (C)
32. Oklahoma City (from MIN) - Terrico White (SG)
33. Sacramento - Jerome Jordan (C)
34. Golden State - Dominique Jones (SG)
35. Washington - Gani Lawal (PF)
36. Detroit - Jarvis Varnado (PF)
37. Milwaukee (from PHI) - Trevor Booker (PF)
38. New York - Lance Stephenson (SG/SF)
39. New York (from LAC) - Stanley Robinson (SF)
40. Indiana - Mikhail Torrance (PG/SG)
41. Miami (from NO) - Craig Brackins (PF)
42. Miami (from TOR) - Jordan Crawford (SG)
43. LA Lakers (from MEM) - Greivis Vasquez (PG/SG)
44. Portland (from CHI) - Paulao Prestes (C)
45. Minnesota (from HOU) - Nemanja Bjelica (SG/SF)
46. Phoenix (from CHA) - Brian Zoubek (C)
47. Milwaukee - Armon Johnson (PG/SG)
48. Miami - Lazar Hayward (SF)
49. San Antonio - Ryan Richards (C)
50. Dallas (from OKC) - Derrick Caracter (PF/C)
51. Oklahoma City (from POR) - Latavious Williams (SF/PF)
52. Boston - Da’Sean Butler (SF)
53. Atlanta - Omar Samhan (C)
54. LA Clippers (from DEN) - Jerome Randle (PG)
55. Utah - Alexey Shved (PG/SG)
56. Minnesota (from PHO) - Manny Harris (SG)
57. Indiana (from DAL) - Sylven Landesberg (SG)
58. LA Lakers - Dexter Pittman (C)
59. Orlando - Tiny Gallon (PF/C)
60. Phoenix (from CLE) - Charles Garcia (PF)
Comments? Criticism? Questions? Have your own? Post away.